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Beneath the surface: Great Lakes in peril


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The Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water.  We share the stewardship of this precious resource with Canada and our joint responsibility is more vital today than ever before.  That’s because water is becoming increasingly scarce around the globe.  In the next decade it’s estimated more than half of the world’s population could be facing water scarcity as major aquifers are depleted, wetlands drained and desertification advances.

As we launch our series on the future of the Great Lakes, Steve Edwards hosts a one-hour special panel discussion and call-in program examining the value of the watershed as a living ecosystem and as a growing economic driver for the region. Is it possible to preserve the watershed while exploiting its commercial value?  What are the greatest threats to its health and sustainability and do we, along with our partners to the North, have the resolve and the political will to protect this vulnerable ecosystem.


Join the discussion starting 1p.m. (CST): 1-888-968-7677.



Dan Egan is an environmental reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and winner of the 2010 Grantham prize for his ongoing series Great Lakes: Great Peril.

Maude Barlow is national chair of the Council of Canadians, former senior advisor on water to the United Nations General Assembly and author of "Our Great Lakes Commons, A Peoples' Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever."

John Austin is a senior fellow with the Brookings Institute and director of the Great Lakes Economics Initiative created to improve the economic vitality of the region.

Peter Annin is an award-winning environmental journalist and author of "The Great Lakes Water Wars." He is also managing director of the Environmental Change Initiative at the University of Notre Dame.

David Lodge is a freshwater ecologist and expert on the global issue of invasive species.  He is director of the Environmental Change Initiative and Center for Aquatic Conservation at the University of Notre Dame.

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